By Daniel Itai at the Stade Olympique Stadium in Nouakachott, Mauritania.
Nauakchott, Mauritania, Mar 7–It was yet another U-20 Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) title for Ghana’s Black Satellites after they outmaneuvered the Hippos of Uganda by two goals to nil yesterday evening making it their fourth U-20 AFCON title.
The Black Satellites started the match on a high note eager to make their mark and 22 minutes into the first-half, Daniel Barnieh (C) took it upon himself to lead by example and netted in the opener.
However, the Hippos quickly realised what was at stake being a final as it was and quickly paced their tempo regardless, the Black Satellites held on to their lead until the end of the first-half.
Getting into the second-half, the Hippos were again caught off guard by the Black Satellites’ talismanic captain in the 51st minute making it his brace.
Seeing what was now at stake, Morley Byekwaso, the Hippos’ gaffer took it upon himself to perhaps reshuffle the team by putting fresh strikers, Ivan Bogere and Sam Senyonjo came in for Richard Basangwa and Ivan Asaba respectively in the 62nd minute but the Black Satellites continued to hold their end.
Byekwaso made two more substitutions in the final third but nothing materialised which eventually saw Ghana being crowned champions.
However despite the loss, in a Facebook post, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) commended the Hippos for having reached the finals, “our Uganda U-20 Hippos team, technical team and Coach Morley Byekwaso, thank you!” Moreover, despite not being the ultimate winners, the Hippos walked away with the AFCON U-20 Fair Play Award and Top Scorer Award which was bagged by Derrick Kakooza.
On Friday Gambia beat Tunisa 4 – 2 on penalties after the match had ended 0 – 0 in normal time awarding the Gambians the bronze accolade.
Compiled by :@danielitai_zw
Namibia daily news (Correspondent, SA).